We all suffer from varying degrees of iceocosis. When the plate is immanently threatened with snow and it’s the last known ice, and it’s really awesome, level heads don’t tend to prevail.
There were pressure ridges visible nearby the launch at Ellacoya and a north south crack just off the beach which was difficult to see. Chris and I found a narrow spot to cross and began to scout. It was hard to go slow in the 20-25kt wind but we found ourselves on a beautiful plate with no snow mounds and no ridges. There were some healed cracks; long dark lines which are common. What we didn’t realize was that were were also many unhealed new cracks, looking just like the others. We were trying to get to the better looking ice inside Rattlesnake Island when my runner found a crack, fell in love with it and remained behind as the rest of the plank, boat rig and skipper went for a long slide.
So with that route not such a great idea, Lee and Paul headed north, short tacking along the shore to get around the end of the ridge and onto a nice plate Lee had spotted yesterday. We watched as the two sails zipped around in the distance and were kicking ourselves for not following when his rig came down and the boat capsized. He had hit a downwind flat pressure ridge slightly misjudging the way back to the pits.
Caked in ice and minus a spring board. As Lloyd said ” A fine day of real iceboating”. On board the Gambit with Lee was Dave McKenzie, our pal from New Zealand who came all this way just to try iceboating. Today was his first time walking on ice (freaky), first time sailing an iceboat (wow) and the first time crashing one and becoming caked in ice (how do I get my frozen zipper down??!!) The spring board and bow runner were saved from the drink.
Thanks to Randy Rice for having the Ellacoya launch plowed out. It’s a great spot. But the ice off of Ames Beach is probably a better bet. NEIYA Beanpot Regatta there tomorrow.